March 6, 2017

The Companies That Support Linux and Open Source: VMware

VMware is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility and has been active in open source development for many years.

The company has steadily increased its open source involvement through Linux Foundation projects such as ONAP, Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), Cloud Foundry, Open vSwitch and others. And it has just increased its commitment to open source and The Linux Foundation by becoming a Gold member.

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Dirk Hohndel
Dirk Hohndel is Chief Open Source Officer at VMware.

Open source software helps VMware accelerate its development processes and deliver even better solutions to its customers, said Dirk Hohndel, Chief Open Source Officer at VMware, in the Q&A below.

“We see open source components as vital ingredients to our products and are actively engaged in many upstream projects,” Hohndel said. “We also continue to create new and interesting open source projects of our own.”

Hohndel leads VMware’s Open Source Program Office, directing the efforts and strategy around use of and contribution to open source projects and driving common values and processes across the company for VMware’s interaction with the open source communities. Before joining VMware, he spent almost 15 years as Intel’s Chief Linux and Open Source Technologist and he’s been an active developer and contributor in Linux and open source since the early 1990s.

Here, Hohndel tells us more about VMware; how Linux and open source have become integral to their business; and how they participate in the open source community.

Linux.com: What does VMware do?

Dirk Hohndel: VMware is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and digital workspace technology. We help our customers to build and evolve scalable production IT environments delivered as an on-prem or hybrid cloud solution that meets their needs. Additionally, we provide customers with modern end-user computing solutions that enable users to access their critical applications, desktops and services using any device or platform.

Linux.com:  How and why do you use Linux and open source?

Hohndel: VMware uses many open source components as part of the solutions we deliver to our customers. Linux is a key guest (and host) OS that we support and the basis of many customer solutions that run on top of our infrastructure.

We see open source components as vital ingredients to our products and are actively engaged in many upstream projects. We also continue to create new and interesting open source projects of our own such as the Project Clarity design system or the Project Harbor container image registry.

Linux.com: Why did you increase your commitment to The Linux Foundation?

Hohndel: We see The Linux Foundation as one of the key consortia in the broader open source ecosystem. In parallel, we steadily increased our engagements with the various projects and foundations such as ONAP, CNCF, Cloud Foundry, and others under the LF in the past few years. It only made sense to increase our engagement in and support for The Linux Foundation, given the role its projects play in our business.

Linux.com: What interesting or innovative trends in technology are you witnessing and what role do Linux and open source play in them?  How is VMware participating in that innovation?

Hohndel: The IT infrastructure industry is constantly evolving. More and more of the relevant solutions stacks are built around open source components, and many companies are collaborating on accelerating the transformation of entire industry verticals. The recently launched ONAP Project is an excellent example of this trend and VMware was one of the founding Platinum sponsors of this project.

Linux.com: How has participating in the Linux and open source communities changed your company?

Hohndel: At its roots, VMware is an engineering driven company. Our engagement with the Linux and open source communities has helped us accelerate our development processes and allowed us to collaborate with other partners and customers in this space to deliver even better solutions.

Linux.com: Is there anything else important or upcoming that you'd like to share?

Hohndel: For VMware, the upgrade to a Gold sponsorship of the Linux Foundation is an integral part of our open source strategy and a key step on our journey to a more open and collaborative future. We look forward to working across many LF projects in order to create solutions that delight our customers.

Learn more about Linux Foundation corporate membership and see a full list of members at https://www.linuxfoundation.org/members/join.

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